Trailblazers create the ideal biking escape on Mount Buller

Published: 10 May 2022

Two bikers standing next to construction equipment

They say history repeats itself.

Well, that seems to be the case for Evan Winton and Ryan De La Rue, directors of the trail building company Contour Works.

The two men are avid mountain bikers, as well as trail-building experts. They started their professional careers working on the crew that built the original Mount Buller and Mount Stirling trails.

Now, 15 years later, they are back with their own team to upgrade major sections of the trails.

"It's an unreal feeling being back up here. It's like coming full circle for us," said Evan.

"The tender was split into three stages, and we secured the cross-country trails section.

"It's roughly 40 kilometres of trails that we are working to bring up to today's standards," he added.

The project is a once-in-a-generation upgrade of Mount Buller and Mount Stirling's biking and walking trail networks.

Supported by $2 million from the Victorian Government's Regional Tourism Investment Fund and delivered in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management, it has made the trails accessible to riders and walkers of all ages and skill levels.

Mount Buller is an important location for Australian riders, as it is the first and only officially accredited International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Ride Center. This status is only granted to unique destinations that offer something for every rider.

"Mountain biking has been booming in the last couple of years, and it seems everyone wants to buy a bike and get out there," explained Ryan.

"This boom has introduced a lot more people to the sport, which means more ability levels need to be catered for," he added.

To do this, the Contour Works team made several key improvements, often working in remote locations and battling poor weather conditions.

Plants, weeds and rocks have been removed from the trails and soil has been added to smooth the paths. On easier trails, gravel has been added to cap the surface for a gentler ride.

Drainage has also been installed along the trails to help them weather the elements as well as heavy use by riders.

To top it all off, the team has added jumps and rollers to make the trails more exciting.

"We're trying to future-proof the trails as much as possible, while making them more fun for riders," explained Evan.

Quality assurance is important to Evan and Ryan, who test ride all their trails to ensure works are up to standard.

"It's one of the best parts of the job," says Ryan.

The duo are thrilled to see how much people have enjoyed their work.

"It's awesome to see thousands of people come up here on a weekend and enjoy the trails," said Evan.

"It's great to see the rewards of all the hard work and investment. It's also good for the region, it reinvigorates a place like Mount Buller and gets more people riding,” added Ryan.

“There’s something up here for everyone. There’s never been a better time to grab a bike and join in the fun.”

The Mount Buller and Mount Stirling trails are closed for the snow season, but the entire network of refurbished trails will reopen by 1 December 2022.

Which means now is the perfect time to start planning your summer mountain biking adventure.

Page last updated 11 May 2022
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